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How to Plant Strawberries and Spacing

strawberries image by Joelyn Pullano from Fotolia.com

Spacing of strawberries and whether you remove runners, the plants produced from the original plant, depends on the type of planting system you choose to grow your strawberries in: matted row, spaced-row or hill systems. Which system you choose depends on how much work you plan to do and how many strawberries you hope to harvest.

Plant strawberry plants in the spring as soon as you can work the ground easily, usually in March or April. Wait until a cloudy day or late afternoon to plant.

Dig small, shallow holes with a garden trowel. Plant strawberry plants so that the soil just covers the root tops. Keep the crown uncovered to allow runner production.

Space strawberry plants 18 to 30 inches apart with rows 3 feet apart when using the matted row system. Allow runners to root without constraint. This system produces average yields with no maintenance.

Space strawberry plants 18 to 30 inches with 3 feet between rows when using the spaced-row system. While the initial spacing follows the matted row system, it differs in that you pull all runners that root within 4 inches of the original plant. This system produces high yields with a little bit of maintenance.

Space strawberry plants 1 foot apart with 2 feet between rows when using the hill system. Remove all runners as they appear, leaving only the original plant. These plants produce well, but produce less each year; replace plants every one to three years.

Plant Hanging Strawberries

Plant strawberries in late spring or early summer, when there is no risk of frost. Fill a plastic tub with loam-based compost and container gardening mix. Space the holes 6 to 8 inches apart. Trim the roots of the strawberry plants if they are longer than 8 inches. Place the basket in shade for a few days, then move it to a permanent location where it will get six to 10 hours of direct sunlight each day. Water deeply with about 1 inch of water per week. Pour the soil into the grow bag slowly to ensure it distributes evenly. Tuck the plants into the hole so the crown is set above the surrounding plastic and compost, then fold the plastic back down.

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